Our good friends Sarah and David gave us a totally awesome “Welcome, Vivian!” gift: a delicious dinner prepared and delivered by Kendra Peterson, the super talented chef behind Drizzle Kitchen here in Chicago. We had the luxury of choosing a meal for her to create, and as soon as I saw the description of her Fancy Chicken I knew it was the one to order.
Kendra is so friendly and genuine. When she dropped off the meal I felt like I was hanging out with an old friend. We chatted for a while about healthy cooking, and she told me a bit about how she decided to start her own personal chef and catering business. She also told me the story of how Fancy Chicken acquired its unique name – “I had girlfriend over for dinner one night and as we’re chatting over wine and some appetizers I was putting dinner together. Toward the end of my preparation of the recipe she asked me what I was making so she could post a picture to Facebook and I replied with an elaborate answer along the lines of ‘Well, it’s roasted chicken over some caramelized sweet potatoes, shallots and garlic which gets tossed with spinach, lemon and parmigiano.’ She looked at me quizzically and replied, ‘Yeah. I’m gonna call it fancy chicken.’ She and I still giggle about it!”
I don’t know how I did it, but I convinced Kendra to share the recipe with me. This will be an easy go-to dinner for us because I keep most of these ingredients stocked in our kitchen all the time. Plus, Evie and Mack L-O-V-E-D the entire meal – its a genuine kid-pleaser.
Drizzle Kitchen‘s Fancy Chicken
4 whole chicken legs
4 sweet potatoes, washed well (leave peel on!) and cut into 2” chunks
12 baby shallots or 5-6 large, cut in half
8 whole cloves garlic, peeled
4-5 sprigs thyme
4 cups baby spinach
Juice and zest from 1 lemon
½ cup parmigiano cheese
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 425 and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place the peeled cloves of garlic, shallots and sweet potatoes on the parchment paper. Give it a good glug of olive oil and toss with your hands to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and throw the sprigs of thyme on top.
Lay the chicken legs (skin side down) on top of the vegetables and drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil, salt and pepper again. Roast at 425 for about 20 minutes, lift up the chicken legs to toss the vegetables around and then replace them right side up. Once fully cooked, remove tray from the oven. Place the chicken legs off to the side.
Place tray back in oven for an additional 10 minutes to finish cooking the sweet potatoes through. Remove from oven. Add the baby spinach to the baking sheet, add the lemon zest and juice over top and sprinkle the parmigiano over it all. Toss with tongs until spinach begins to wilt and everything has a light coating of parmigiano. Lay the spinach/sweet potato mixture in the center of a platter and place the chicken legs on top.
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